Safety In Numbness


Dammit, dammit, dammit.

I’ve just written a 2000-word post that I think is good, funny stuff. I have rewritten it and edited it. I don’t know that it’s brilliant, but it’s something I’m happy with.

Annnnnd now I’ve filed it away for good.

See, the problem is that it’s a parody of an Apple press release for the next iPhone. Shortly after I woke up this morning, I had a picture in my mind of someone at Apple getting sick and tired of all of the complaints about the iPhone and finally saying what’s on his or her mind.

So I started writing.

All writing is a selfish act. You write for your own pleasure. You write because you’ve teased out the first thread of an idea and you can’t help but to pull on that thread carefully and see how far it goes.

On that basis: those two or three hours were well-spent.

No, Andy. NO. Stop it.

(Shut up.)

NO. You can’t post this.

Why not? Because every time I’ve written a parody, I’ve exercised a lot of common sense. “Make sure that nobody could possibly confuse this for the real thing,” I determined. And then through a second draft and then a third draft, I undermine the credibility as far as I think I can stretch it without explicitly writing “By the way, this is just something I made up. It’s a bit of fun and nothing more.”

I post or publish the piece, thinking that nothing can possibly go wrong. Annnnnd then it all goes horribly wrong.

Oh, it’s not your intelligence that concerns me, dear reader. It’s the intelligence of the Dumbest Person On The Internet.

Aha. Yes, now you see my problem. This Dumbest Person On The Internet goes and puts excerpts on their blog, or Twitters a quote or two. And then it’s allll over the internet that [topic redacted]. Which is obvious rubbish within the context of the original piece, but it has a certain vague credibility when taken out of context.

Plus, I keep forgetting that there are some people out there who think I’m some kind of respected journalist. I can’t say whether that’s deserved or not, but still: put rubbish on the right plate and some people will consider it Haute Cuisine.

(Andy reads the piece again.)

NO, Andy. Put it AWAY.

Sorry to jerk you people around with A Post Explaining Why I’m Not Releasing A Post. But I spent a few hours on that original piece. If I can’t post the post, at least I can post a story about the post.

23 thoughts on “Safety In Numbness

  1. Charlie

    Please. I promise I’ll only share it with one close friend.

    Maybe one Tweet, that’s it.

    ( OK, maybe sell it to a rumor site, but that’s it)

  2. Nicholas B.

    Well wait a few days and then post it.

    I totally get what you are saying, and the wait sucks, but this is the prelude, and once the 4G is out you can post it.

    And to be fair, if you posted it now you’d manage to do what Calacanis did last year, and if you post it later people will think you are a day late and a dollar short…

    I know I’d love to read the post, but as you said: “worry about the dumbest person on the net.”

  3. Will

    Put it behind a waiver wall! “I, the Dumbest Person on the Internet, do hereby swear that no part of the following parody will appear on The Twitter or My GeoCities Blog, etc…”

  4. Scott

    You need to create a pseudonym for parody articles. You know, like “The Macalope” or “Rob Enderle”.

  5. David Wintheiser

    I was going to suggest a repurposing – perhaps turn the piece into what would happen if, say, Invader Zim interrupted Steve Jobs’s WWDC keynote introducing the 4G iPhone:

    “ZIM wonders how you dirty monkeys can even know how to play Scrabble and write an e-mail at THE SAME TIME.

    “Zim will find this Farmville, and DESTROY it.”

    Then I realized it wouldn’t be the same without the animation, just like stories of Gollum accepting the MTV Movie Award back when didn’t hold a candle to the event recorded on YouTube.

    Ah, well – back to the drawing board.

  6. GadgetGav

    Add it to the self published book through iBooks. If Apple get 30% from it they can’t really complain can they?

  7. kurros

    Please make sure you include it in your will so it can be released upon your passing. Mark Twain style.

  8. Harry Henderson

    I wrote a totally kickin’ comment on this article, but I’m posting this one instead.

  9. Al

    Why not just post it but replace all references to “Apple” with “Granny Smiths” and “iPhone” with “jMobile” or something. Still as funny (I would think), obviously not real…

  10. @tomcole

    Much like Helge, I have written an incredibly dry and ironic comment. However, it will be mistaken by some as trolling, and a few others as a messianic tome of self-delusion.

    As such, I am regretfully going to refrain from posting it. Even though it would have caused more than a few chuckles, and possibly – just possibly – one appreciative tweet.

  11. itds

    Andy, if you post it, you can add “satirist” to your resume. Wouldn’t that just look so cool?

    Andy Ihnatko, internationally-beloved technology pundit and less-than-appreciated Silicon Valley satirist.

  12. Jason Ishibashi

    Time to invent your pseudonym and join the world of know nothing bloggers! We’ll all know the source, of course, but it would be like trying to pin the Daily Show as a credible source of news.

    Looking forward to (or other).

  13. John Hoffoss

    First: Tease.

    Next: Thank you for providing me with a new “smell test”–the all-new TDPOTI test.

    C: Couldn’t you create an anonymous Tumblr account and then link to it from here so we could read it? I’m pretty sure it’d be worth doing.

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